Founded in 1982, the Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences (PCRPS) is an internationally renowned research center for the study of biologically active natural products. The PCRPS was established to bring together interested faculty within the University of Illinois to pursue research and development projects collaboratively that are pertinent to the biomedical sciences in general and the pharmaceutical sciences in particular.
The program has three full-time tenured, eleven associate and seven research faulty members and a total personnel complement of approximately ninety FTE. Research activities include drug discovery involving the isolation and biological evaluation of anticancer, cancer chemoprevention, antimalarial, anti-HIV, anti-TB, and other disease target agents from natural sources; studies in chemical carcinogenesis; collection of ethnomedical information in the field; biodiversity conservation based collection of medicinal plants for chemical and biological investigation; computerization of the world's literature on the chemistry and biology of medicinal natural products; phytochemical analysis and standardization of natural products and herbal products; and the standardization, phytochemistry, biological activity evaluation, metabolism, pharmacokinetics and clinical studies of botanical dietary supplements for women's health. Research funding in the first seven months of fiscal year 2002 totals $6.85 millions.
In addition to teaching and research activities, the faculty of the program are deeply committed to the development of international programs, especially as members of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Traditional Medicine at UIC.